Flexibility is an important quality to have and practice, especially as you age. Flexibility is the ability for your joint and body parts to perform their full range of motion. There are several tasks throughout the day that require flexibility to complete with ease, from putting your socks on to walking. While you may picture flexibility as the ability to touch your toes, it does not always have to be as drastic as that.

Flexibility decreases with age and can become worsened when it is not practiced and maintained. That is why it is important to include exercises that can help you work on your flexibility in your regular workout routine or just in your day-to-day life. Luckily, there are many ways to work on and improve your flexibility.

At Health By Ratio, we offer functional fitness programs that can help improve your flexibility, among many other benefits. Our program is designed to help people still dealing with the aftermath of an injury regain their full range of motion, stability, coordination, flexibility, and reduce pain. You can learn more about our programs and start working toward a pain-free life and enjoy the benefits of having a full range of motion again.

In this blog, we wanted to talk about flexibility and some of the ways you can improve your own. Read on to learn more and start adding flexibility exercises to your daily routine.

Understand Stretching

While stretching is a great way to improve your flexibility, especially before and after a workout, understanding how to properly stretch is important. There are two types of stretching — dynamic and static. Static stretching includes stretching that are held for a couple of seconds, whereas dynamic stretching is stretching that involves movement.

Dynamic stretches are what you should do before a workout, as your warm-up. This can include straight leg kicks, lunges, leg swings, jumping jacks, and other movements that warms up the body. Before your workout, you should avoid doing static stretches. They are not as beneficial as dynamic stretches.

After a workout, static stretches can help lengthen tight muscles that you used during a workout. Stretching your muscles that you hit hard during your workout can help improve your flexibility and allows you to avoid some of the muscle tightness that you feel after your workout.

So, why does it matter what type of stretches you do before and after a workout? Think of your muscles as a rubber band. If you take a rubber band that has not been used for a while and stretch it as far as it can do right off the bat, there is a chance that it may snap and it is most likely fragile at this point. But if you slowly stretch out the rubber band and warm it up a bit, it will be more flexible and be able to be stretched further and held longer after “working it out.”

By understanding how to properly stretch and incorporating these stretches in your workouts daily, you can improve your flexibility.

Make Full Range of Motion a Priority

Another great way to improve your flexibility is to make sure you are doing the full range of motion during your workouts. While it is simple to cut the motion short and use a heavier weight to build strength, that will do nothing to improve flexibility. Instead, make sure you do the full range of motion to really get the benefits of improved flexibility. For example, when doing lunges or squats, be sure to dip down all the way, not only will it help with flexibility but it can work your muscles more!

By making the full range of motion a priority, you can work on getting the most movement out of your workouts and improving your flexibility. Whether you are new to working out or you have been doing it for years, understanding proper form and range of motion is important. To practice a full range of motion for different workouts, do these movements without weights to get started. Once you figure out the right motion, you can slowly add weights back into the equation.

Get Massages

Massages may not be necessary for improving your flexibility, but they certainly can provide some additional benefits. Massages help break down tension and knots in your muscles, allowing you to regain more motion. When you have knots or tense muscles, you may notice that your range of motion is restricted. A massage can loosen these tight muscles and restore your range of motion and flexibility.

You can also try using a foam roller before and after your workouts. Rolling before your workout will allow you to prepare your body and muscles for movement. Rolling after a workout will help your body flush out the waste products from exercise, allowing you to recover quicker. You don’t need to spend money on a massage every time you work out. Just be sure to roll your muscles out with a foam roller.

Stay Hydrated

Water is an important factor in several body functions. A large part of our muscle composition is water, so for your muscles to function properly, you need to be sure to stay hydrated. Being properly hydrated can help improve your muscle function and flexibility, as well as many other things. Be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day and especially during your workouts.

Do Yoga

Yoga is a great type of workout for flexibility. When you practice yoga regularly, you will slowly build your flexibility and body movement. There are different types of yoga and different yoga poses that can work your muscles. Yoga is not only great for flexibility, but it can also help you build strength, improve posture, and work on mental wellness.

Try Functional Movement Training

Functional movement training, as we offer in our Health By Ratio programs, is a great type of physical training that focuses on workouts with movements that you use in your daily life. From squats to pushup and more, these workouts not only improve strength, but they can also help restore a full range of motion, improving flexibility, coordination, and stability. Our program is great for those suffering from lingering discomfort from pain or injuries.

At Health By Ratio, we offer a functional movement training program that can benefit you in many ways, including improving flexibility. Follow these tips to improve your flexibility and be sure to learn more about our programs. Contact Health By Ratio with any questions you may have!